Often, when cash flow is tight, the first thing that business owners cut is their marketing and advertising expense. This is a big mistake. First of all, when business is slow you should do everything you can to increase sales. That doesn’t mean you have to spend more money. Instead, you should implement low cost and no cost marketing strategies into your plan.
One of the easiest ways to increase the visibility of your business is to increase your networking. Today that means not only live and local interaction with other business owners in your community, but online networking through social media should also be increased.
If you haven’t started using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Blogs, etc., it is worth the time to set up accounts and start posting. You will find that if you treat your social media networking the same as a regular business meeting and allocate the same amount of time that you would spend at a traditional networking event, you will build your online presence quickly.
You don’t have to be an expert to get started. Every one of the social media sites has easy tutorials and there are lots of books to walk you through the setup process. It is also a good idea to ask other business owners how they are promoting online.
Be sure to do an online search for your most successful competitor and find out how they are positioning their business online. The internet is a wonderful marketing tool and the only cost for using social media is your time.
Building an online networking presence, in addition to increased visibility at local business functions, can grow your customer base and your potential referral partners. Whichever strategy you decide to use, always follow up and be consistent. Networking in person or online doesn’t work without the follow up to develop a relationship and make the sale.
If you choose to work with an expert for your social media plan, there are several companies that specialize in building internet campaigns and helping you establish your brand online. Just make sure you do your homework before hiring an expert and make sure you have taken the time to understand the products yourself.